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Thursday coronavirus updates: Stay-at-home order extended; 3-phases to reopen North Carolina

For immediate questions, call the North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline at 866-462-3821 or 2-1-1.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — WFMY News 2 is providing daily coronavirus updates with the latest information from emergency leaders, the state's task force, health departments, universities, school districts, and a lot more.   

APRIL 23, 2020 

11:45 p.m. - The Forsyth County Courthouse will be closed until May 4, due to a COVID-19 case.

RELATED: Forsyth County Courthouse closed due to COVID-19 case

6:30 p.m. - Alamance County Health Department is reporting the county's first COVID-19 death.

The individual was greater than 65 years old with underlying conditions and receiving care at a hospital. To protect the privacy of the individual and their family, no further information about the individual will be released.  

 “We are deeply saddened by this news and our hearts are with their precious family who have lost someone they love and cherish. This loss affects our entire community,” said Health Director Stacie Saunders. “It is so important that each of us take steps to protect ourselves and others to prevent the spread of this virus, especially to our most vulnerable populations. We urge the community to continue to practice social distancing and the recommended general precautions in order to protect themselves, their loved ones, and our neighbors.” 

5:30 p.m. - North Carolina independent contractors and self-employed workers out of work because of COVID-19 can apply for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance beginning this Friday, April 24 at des.nc.gov.

3:05 p.m. - Gov. Cooper said we are flattening the curve, but we're not ready to lift restrictions yet. He has extended the stay-at-home order through May 8. Cooper also announced a three-phase plan to reopen the state that would be based on downward-trending coronavirus data. He also said he would have an announcement regarding schools on Friday. 

RELATED: Gov. Cooper announces 3-part plan to reopen state, extends stay-at-home order through May 8

  • NCDHHS Director Dr. Mandy Cohen said they want to see increased testing and tracing in order to move forward with easing restrictions.  
  • NCDHHS said the percent of visits to the Emergency Department for COVID-like illness IS declining.

3:00 p.m. - Gov. Cooper is expected to make an important announcement regarding the next steps in North Carolina's fight against coronavirus, according to a tweet from the governorThe state's stay-at-home order has been in effect since March 30 and runs through April 29. Cooper has not yet announced plans for extending the order or plans for reopening North Carolina. You can watch the briefing live in this story. 

2:00 p.m. - Forsyth officials hold a press conference with the latest updates on the county's response to the coronavirus. Forsyth County announces a proposed joint reopening task force between Winston-Salem city and Forsyth County. The task force would aim to help the two entities reopen businesses in a uniform manner when the stay-at-home order is eventually lifted.

11:00 a.m. - NCDHHS is reporting 7,608 coronavirus cases across the state and 253 deaths. Here are the latest numbers in the Piedmont Triad

10:30 a.m. - Have we reached our coronavirus peak in North Carolina? Christopher Ohl, M.D., infectious disease expert with Wake Forest Baptist Health, will provide an update on COVID-19 in our region – where we have been, where we are now, and where we are going. 

8:15 a.m. - Elton John announced another postponement of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, including a stop in Greensboro scheduled for May 23. New dates have not been announced yet. 

7:45 a.m. - Join our live conversation on AFTER GMS! Emergency rooms are less crowded, but here's why one Triad nurse says that's not necessarily a good thing. 

News to note on Thursday: 

  • Thirty-two coronavirus cases have been confirmed at a Guilford County nursing home. An administrator with the Clapps Nursing Home in Pleasant Garden said 20 cases are residents, while 12 are staff members. Many of the cases are asymptomatic, administrators said. 
  • An error on the CDC's website put North Carolina at more than 14,000 coronavirus deaths in our state. The number had many of our viewers concerned, and some of you reached out to us. The CDC has now corrected the error. As of Wednesday, there have been 242 deaths in North Carolina, according to NCDHHS.
  • Gov. Cooper will hold a press briefing with the coronavirus task force at 3 p.m. today. He has not yet made a decision on whether he will extend the stay-at-home order or if students will remain home for the rest of the school year. We will stream the press conference live in this story. 

FACTS NOT FEAR

Remember facts, not fear when talking about the coronavirus. You should take the same measures recommended by health leaders to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses. That means washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and covering coughs and sneezes.

WHERE YOU GET INFORMATION ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS IS IMPORTANT

It is important to make sure the information you are getting about the coronavirus is coming directly from reliable sources like the CDC and NCDHHS. Be careful not to spread misinformation about coronavirus on social media. 

For more information visit the CDC OR NCDHHS

NC CORONAVIRUS HOTLINE 

The state also has a special hotline set up where you can call 866-462-3821 for more information on the coronavirus. You can also submit questions online at ncpoisoncontrol.org or select chat to talk with someone about the virus.

You can also text keyword VIRUS to WFMY News 2 at 336-379-5775 to find out more information.

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RELATED: Error on CDC website puts North Carolina coronavirus deaths at more than 14,000

RELATED: Confirmed coronavirus outbreak at Pleasant Garden nursing home